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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Premiership fans' predictions
ARSENAL by Gunners fan Victor Wong

This year, fans expect steady development rather than record-breaking accomplishment.

But we are hoping that boss Arsene Wenger, new captain Thierry Henry and our talented youngsters, hungry for a first-team place (Phillipe Senderos, Gael Clichy, Francesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie), can deliver the final glorious swansong that Highbury, and the legend himself - Dennis Bergkamp - deserves.

Player to watch: Francesc Fabregas
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Third
Premiership winners: Chelsea

ASTON VILLA by Villans fan Lee Poultney

While most fans will agree the squad is stronger after the arrival of Kevin Phillips, Patrik Berger, Aaron Hughes and Stuart Taylor, we still find ourselves waiting for the 'substantial funds' to be spent to improve the quality of the starting XI.

If the likes of Juan Pablo Angel, Olof Mellberg and Jlloyd Samuel find their form after disappointing campaigns last season then a UEFA spot could be in reach.

Player to watch: Juan Pablo Angel
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: Eighth
Premiership winners: Chelsea

BIRMINGHAM CITY by Blues fan David Clayton

Improvement this season is inevitable following the signings of Mikael Forssell and Jermaine Pennant.

Also the return of David Dunn and Muzzy Izzet offer a boost along with the continued class of Emile Heskey, Matt Upson and Mario Melchiot - maybe this will give us the consistency we have lacked over the last two seasons to push into top eight.

Player to watch: Jermaine Pennant
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: Ninth
Premiership winners: Chelsea

BLACKBURN by Rovers fan Pete Bamford

After manager Mark Hughes and his team turned the side around last term, fans look to this season's recruits as an indication of the club's direction this year and beyond.

Craig Bellamy's signing shows the club's ambition and likewise Hughes' European aspirations his - no longer aiming low and hoping to overachieve, the man has a plan.

Player to watch: Craig Bellamy
Optimistic finish: Uefa Cup qualifying spot
Realistic finish: 10th
Premiership winners: Arsenal

BOLTON by Trotters fan Lee Tennant

Most Bolton fans would be happy with a top 10 finish, a good run in Europe and the Carling Cup, not much to ask.

We may not have set the transfer world alight this summer but continuity is very important as is having, in Sam Allardyce, the best manager in the league.

Player to watch: Ricardo Vaz Te
Optimistic Finish: Sixth
Realistic Finish: Ninth
Premiership winners: Manchester United

CHARLTON by Addicks fan Steve Wisdom

Charlton fans are looking forward to the new season with an unprecedented level of hope.

Buoyed by recent transfer activity, particularly English youngsters Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose, the fans are relishing seeing their new look youthful team come flying out of the blocks after a dismal end to last season.

Player to watch: Darren Bent
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: Ninth
Premiership winners: Chelsea

CHELSEA by Blues fan Sam Bullen

A great manager in Jose Mourinho, an awe-inspiring captain in John Terry and a pool of talent in the squad that now accounts for two international players in every position in the team.

Over the summer this has been added to with the arrival of Asier del Horno and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Player to watch: Shaun Wright-Phillips
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: First
Premiership winners: Chelsea

EVERTON by Toffees fan John Purdam

Really disappointed we have made no major signings other than Per Kroldrup and is he major?

We may have finished fourth last year but, with a negative goal difference, we need more fire-power so a proven top striker is essential - the whole squad is too weak and most are getting old together.

Player to watch: Tim Cahill
Optimistic finish: Sixth
Realistic finish: 12th
Premiership winners: Chelsea

FULHAM by Cottagers fan David Illingworth

The departure of goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is a massive loss, but we should do better than last season.

With the return to full fitness of Alain Goma and Steed Malbranque, the team should be more solid and the 4-5-1 formation is gone for 4-4-2 which suits us - Collins John should be looking for 10-15 goals.

Player to watch: Liam Rosenior
Optimistic finish: Top 10
Realistic finish: 10-13th
Premiership winners: Chelsea

LIVERPOOL by Reds fan Carl Mason

Boss Rafael Benitez has brought in proven quality (Boudewwijn Zenden and Jose Reina) along with talented youngsters (Mohamed Sissoko and Mark Gonzalez) to bolster his Champions League-winning squad.

He has also cleared out most of the 'dead wood' - we won't topple Chelsea, but we won't be 37 points adrift of the Champions at the end of the season either.

Player to watch: Xabi Alonso
Optimistic finish: Second
Realistic finish: Fourth
Premiership winners: Chelsea

MANCHESTER CITY by Blues fan Andrew Pepper

Manager Stuart Pearce is the right man for the job - he has drastically cut our squad but this will bring them closer as a unit and perform even better.

The addition of Andy Cole and Darius Vassell are clever transfers, though Cole has a lot to do to win over the fans.

Player to watch: Lee Croft
Optimistic finish: Fifth
Realistic finish: Seventh
Premiership winners: Chelsea

MANCHESTER UNITED by Red Devils fan Si Angear

We are heading upwards - maturing players like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, a reliable keeper in Edwin van der Saar and a revitalised Ruud van Nistelrooy will ensure that.

Expect Alan Smith to shine as a midfielder, and Gabriel Heinze to prosper - the Premiership may prove to be a bridge too far this time, but European glory is a realistic proposition.

Player to watch: Guiseppe Rossi
Optimistic finish: First
Realistic finish: Second
Premiership winners: Chelsea

MIDDLESBROUGH by Boro fan Jo Angus

To keep growing as a club, we need to qualify for Europe again to turn the novelty into a regularity.

Aiyegbeni Yakubu adds the missing ingredient - pace up front - and supplied by Gaizka Mendieta and Stewart Downing, our forwards will power us into Europe again.

Player to watch: Aiyegbeni Yakubu
Optimistic finish: Fifth
Realistic finish: Seventh
Premiership winners: Chelsea

NEWCASTLE by Magpies fan James Williams

With the vast exodus of players and only two major signings coming in, I do not hold out much hope for the coming season.

We have a narrow midfield and only two strikers in the squad which does not bode well - Scott Parker and Belozoglu Emre are good, but we are as weak at the back as ever.

Player to watch: Steven Taylor
Optimistic finish: Fifth
Realistic finish: Ninth
Premiership winners: Arsenal

PORTSMOUTH by Pompey fan Dave Jordan

Forget the wheeling and dealing, now we've got je ne sai quois - new boss Alain Perrin has added some sauce to the attack with Collins Mbesuma, some dressing to the midfield in Laurent Robert and a little fibre to the defence thanks to Andy O'Brien.

The French renaissance has begun and we are ready to serve up a treat.

Player to watch: Svetslav Todorov
Optimistic finish: 10th
Realistic finish: 14th
Premiership winners: Manchester United

SUNDERLAND by Black Cats fan David Nixon

Optimism, excitement, nerves, doubt, hopes, relief and that is just queuing for a pint at half time.

Expect the usual rollercoaster affair - boss Mick McCarthy continues to buy hard-working, home-grown youngsters like Tommy Miller; this should typify our hard graft approach and ultimate safety this season.

Player to watch: Stephen Elliot
Optimistic finish: 10th
Realistic finish: 17th
Premiership winners: Chelsea

TOTTENHAM by Spurs fan Richard Mathewson

Young players like Reto Ziegler, Wayne Routledge, Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe will gain confidence as the season progesses.

A late surge will result in the media talking about Champions League qualification, but hardened Spurs fans know that we will find some way to fail - Uefa Cup qualification though...

Player to watch: Teemu Tainio
Optimistic finish: Fourth
Realistic finish: Sixth
Premiership winners: Chelsea

WEST BROMWICH ALBION by Baggies fan Tom Bache

We will be back in the dogfight of relegation this year but hopefully boss Bryan Robson will have a few more points at Christmas to save my nails.

We still need a striker, but with some proven players already in - Steve Watson, Darren Carter and Chris Kirkland - it won't be so much of struggle this year.

Player to watch: Richard Chaplow
Optimistic finish: 14th
Realistic finish: 17th
Premiership winners: Arsenal

WEST HAM UNITED by Hammers fan Richard Dicken

This season is about survival and boss Alan Pardew's signings indicate the same belief - all are defenders and Gabbidon and Paul Konchesky are good buys

The inexperienced midfield will struggle against the best teams and we lack creativity in attack - Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora need to start well as Teddy Sheringham cannot be relied upon all season.

Player to watch: Nigel Reo-Coker
Optimistic finish: 15th
Realistic finish: 17th
Premiership winners: Arsenal

WIGAN ATHLETIC by Latics fan David Goodwin

If Jason Roberts and Nathan Ellington can continue their great partnership at Premiership level then their goals will definitely help us in our quest for survival.

Paul Jewell's new-look defence has youth, speed and experience (Ryan Taylor, Pascal Chimbonda and Stephane Henchoz) - the boss has survived before with Bradford, so do not put it past him to do it again.

Player to watch: Nathan Ellington
Optimistic finish: 16th
Realistic finish: 19th
Premiership winners: Chelsea




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